The magnum opus of the Chemould Gallery at Art Basel 2021

Art Basel explores its engagement in a physical exhibition dedicated to supporting key players in the art world and strengthening the art ecosystem as a whole with its opening on September 20, 2021. Shireen Gandhy of the Chemould Gallery Mumbai creates a magnum opus with a representation of 65 artists from her palette of global names who create their own rhythms and resonances.

Dealing with the pandemic in general, Gandhy, one of India’s top gallerists, says: “My efforts to balance the scale, giving advice to both: the dynamics and the emotionally fragile come together today as we let’s tell the story through the voice of each of our artists. “

Anju Dodiya’s reflections

Gandhy names the Chemould gallery exhibition after the work of Anju Dodiya: The Room is a Nomad. According to Gandhy, “the mind has been on a swing for the past year and a half. There is the safe haven of home and family; however, on hectic days one is thirsty for the outside world. For Anju Dodiya, museum memorabilia added to house-related ruminations. There is furniture, domestic and reassuring, as in Lichtenstein’s painting. There are the knotted emotions that imitate the playful Rei Kawakubo, or the theater of Maria Lassnig, which hovers like a nightmare for the quarantined soul! Pacing up and down, always there, the room is nomadic!

The beauty of Anju’s compositions lies in the multiple references that she uses.

She explores the human self through her own experience, and her own interiority forms a focal point. His inspiration from a variety of sources, historical and contemporary, esoteric and beloved, streaked in the weaving of what is aesthetic, cinematic and textual becomes an emotional evocation.

Greek Goddess of NS Harsha

The brilliance of NS Harsha shines through in the stories he translates into his works. NOT. HarshaGandhy’s work was made especially for the fair, it summed up Gandhy’s feelings with gentle irony. he paints Themis – the blind Greek goddess of wisdom and good advice – like the local Mysore schoolgirl, playfully dressed. In place of her sword was a bag of groceries and in front of her a stack of kitchen containers. The new avatar of the Goddess is the artist’s attempt to amplify the voices of the countless invisible women caught in the domestic trap of contemporary society.

The classic designs of Atul Dodiya

During the pandemic, Atul Dodiya befriended a sketchbook; compose daily drawings in response to the events he has learned through the news. The set of 6 works he presents at Art Basel is a selection of these everyday sketches translated on canvas, wrapped in classic figures of Atul in a richly layered oil painting; raw, dense and rich in color. The emotionally charged scenes convey the horrors of what he encountered during the pandemic and are deeply etched into the artist’s psyche. Atul’s power of prismatic precision and haunting overlaps is vital to his carefully calibrated human figures that seem both heady and haunting at the same time.

The geographic gravity of Justin Kallat

In the continuity of his stay of abstract gestures, Jitish kallat crystallizes and acquires a sense of sensible form to dissolve into abstraction; celestial orbits, geographic coordinate systems, botanical, biological and topographic evocations that begin to reveal the signatures of growth, evolution and entropy. Soft lines and hazy moorings all become part of her creative landscape which has a cosmic aura.

Rashi Rana’s historical iconography

Gandhy describes the work of Rashid Rana as a work born of dualities – those of space, time, tradition and culture. In his Transliteration series, he uses historical iconography as building blocks, such as Napoleon crossing the Alps painted by Jacques-Louis David from the neoclassical period. Originally commissioned by the King of France, the original equestrian portrait depicts Napoleon and his army crossing the Alps via the Great Saint Bernard Pass in the 1800s. By reconstructing, manipulating and splicing the image, Rana gives it a new meaning; closer examination suggests an inherent contradiction, or the notion of overt nationalism and patriotism, the subject of many of David’s paintings.

(Image credit: Chemould Gallery, Mumbai)



The opinions expressed above are those of the author.


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